The first game of the series will be played at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois on Sept. 24, 2016. It will be the fourth home game that NIU has played at the home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears since 2007. NIU faced Iowa in 2007, Wisconsin in 2011, and Iowa again in 2012.
“Ever since the Iowa game this past September, I’ve been asked about the next Huskie home game at Soldier Field,” NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher said. “I am very pleased to announce this 2016 game in Chicago with Nebraska, one of the most storied programs in college football. This series would not have come together without the efforts of [Nebraska Director of Athletics] Tom Osborne so I especially want to thank him for his willingness to work with us to schedule these three games.”
Nebraska will host the final two games of the series at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Sept. 2, 2017 and Sept. 14, 2019.
The two schools have met twice with both games being played in Lincoln. Nebraska beat NIU 48-17 in 1989 and 60-14 in 1990.
“This should be a great series, not only for both football programs, but for Husker fans as well,” Nebraska Associate Athletic Director for Football Jeff Jamrog said. “Northern Illinois has a record that speaks for itself over the past few years, particularly with qualifying for a BCS bowl this year. Our fans have the opportunity to go to Chicago and see a game at Soldier Field, and also get to see an outstanding opponent come to Lincoln twice.”
The addition of the game against NIU completes Nebraska’s 2016 non-conference schedule. The Cornhuskers open the season at home vs. Fresno State (Sept. 3) before hosting Tennessee (Sept. 10) and Wyoming (Sept. 17). In 2017, Nebraska is slated to travel to Tennessee (Sept. 9), while in 2019 they host South Alabama (Aug. 31).
Nebraska also announced today the completion of their 2014 schedule with the addition of a game against McNeese State on Sept. 6. The Cornhuskers open vs. Florida Atlantic (Aug. 30), travel to Fresno State (Sept. 13), and host Miami, FL (Sept. 20).
As for Northern Illinois, the addition of Nebraska is the first scheduled game in 2017 and 2019. NIU is currently slated to open the 2016 season at Wyoming (Sept. 3).